|Member of the Grand National Assembly|
Assumed office |
7 June 2015
|Constituency||Istanbul 3rd electoral district (June 2015)|
1972 (age 45–46)|
|Political party||Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)|
|Alma mater||Istanbul University's School of Business|
Garo Paylan (Armenian: Կարօ Փայլան, born 1972) is a Turkish politician of Armenian descent. He is a Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) representing Istanbul. He became one of the first Armenian members of Turkey's parliament in decades. He is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Garo Paylan was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1972 to an Armenian family originally from Malatya. He graduated from Istanbul University's School of Business. He then became a director of various Armenian schools in Istanbul. Thereafter, he became a director for a project that promoted multilingual education.
Garo Paylan first joined the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in 2011 and was one of its campaign supports. He then represented the interests of Armenians within the party and soon join other activists to start the People's Democratic Congress, becoming a member of its Central committee.
Peoples' Democratic Party
Member of Parliament
On June 7, 2015, he was elected into the Grand National Assembly as a representative of Istanbul's 3rd electoral district. He became among the first Armenian members of the Assembly in decades alongside Selina Özuzun Doğan (CHP) and Markar Esayan (AKP).
Upon getting elected Paylan vowed to fight against Armenian Genocide denial and demands that the Armenian Genocide be acknowledged in Turkey. In April 2016, during a speech in parliament he made concerning the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Paylan counted the names of ethnic Armenian politicians who were deported then killed during the Armenian Genocide.
He is currently a member of the Turkish parliament's Planning and Budget Committee.
Brawl in parliament
Several days after his speech concerning the Armenian Genocide, Paylan was involved in a fight with members of the AKP which forced the parliament to be suspended. Paylan blamed the AKP party for instigating the violence against opposition party members so as to "rule the parliament using brute force instead of diplomacy and politics." Paylan also expressed his fears that the violence would intensify. A week after, on 2 May 2016, another fight occurred during a meeting for constitutional reform in which the Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdag, blamed Garo Paylan for starting the fight the previous week. Paylan responded by saying Bozdag's remarks were slanderous. Following the incident, Paylan said that many racist remarks were made about his Armenian identity and that the attack against him was planned. He concluded that he was attacked because of his ethnic Armenian identity.
The Human Rights Association of Turkey released a statement condemning the violence against Paylan. The condemnation, released by its Committee Against Racism and Discrimination, stated that the attacks against him were due to his Armenian origin. The statement also condemned various racial slurs that were said to him such as "the Armenian bastard".
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